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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews  

    February 28, 2014
    4:00 - 5:00pm PST  

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>> stay in the mom zone. >> she's got those moves down, and she's got the rest of the country moving too. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. coming up fighting. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. tomorrow's march. the months of 2014 are being torn from the calendar as we move to november, and that dawning election for congress, especially the u.s. senate where the democrats, the president's party lie perilously close to defeat, and with it the loss of all legislative control by the president. tonight the president himself blew the bugle. he is jumping into the fight to save the power he as president needs to have for him to complete his agenda between now and 2016, and well before that,
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really, the compelling campaign news crowding in before that. well, the message from the president focused all the fire he has on rousing the people who voted for him twice for president. actually, he is the only candidate since eisenhower in the 1950s to win a sound majority of 51% of the vote on two occasions. he is doing this on a base of two great facts. that on so many issues, the democratic party does hold the popular position, that and the hard pack that the republican party continues to be vulnerable on the charge that it cares hardly at all for that infamous or famous 47% that mitt romney banished so cleanly from his and his party's scope of sympathy. >> they just keep on offering a theory of the economy that time and again has failed america. they think we should drastically reduce or eliminate the safety net for people. we're seeing that played out right now in the the bait about unemployment insurance. they'll even shut down the
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government or threaten the full faith and credit of our country when they don't get their way. and if we do all these things, they are convinced that the economy will thrive, and jobs and prosperity will trickle down to everybody. that's what they believe. and they have a right to hold those beliefs. but the american people know better, because what they're offering is not a new theory. >> well, joining me right now to discuss the president's words you just heard delivered late this afternoon are david corn. both are msnbc political analysts. gene, i want to talk to you about this first. this is really basic democratic talk. the only thing that really makes it different is the sort of positive morale officer role he is playing which is to say we're on the popular side of these issues. >> exactly. he's saying we're on the popular side. more people agree with us than agree with the republicans. so let's get out there. let's fight. and the rallying cry for the people assembled in that hall,
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the democratic national committee who are going to go out and go back to their states and work is to get the voters out. to get the democratic voters out. young people, african americans, latinos who normally don't vote in large numbers in off year elections. >> he's got a party, the democratic party of barack obama is a fabulous party. i saw the statistics the other day. it never occurred to me. he is the only guy since eisenhower who was a war hero, won the second world war to get two 51 percents. he didn't just get it once. he got it twice. he has delivered an electorate. can he do it a third time? >> it's a coalition between all the types of voters we have been talking about. what barack obama has been trying to do since the tea party election of 2010 is to make the fight between democrats and republicans a national battle about values which everybody has some skin in the game because of some interests and put together this coalition. he did it wonderfully for 2012. and mitt romney was the ideal
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candidate because he could come up with this value distinction. whether he can nationalize a midterm election on the second part of his presidency is really a high -- >> you know what he needs -- >> is a high challenge. >> he needs mitt romney could come back at 47% again? have some bartender catching him doing it. >> somebody else can step in. >> he has to find somebody to make that point. >> the other thing they can do is exploit the edge that the democratic party has in the mechanics of getting out the vote, in targeting and identifying, tracking voters. >> well, the issues too. they have another advantage. a lot of the issues like minimum wage are right there for them. here is more from the president tonight speaking to the dnc, just a few minutes ago talking about women. let's watch. >> at a time when women make up half of our workforce, it's an outrage that women can still make 77 cents for every dollar man earns. this isn't 1954. it's 2014.
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a woman deserves equal pay for equal work. i saw some republicans in congress brought in outside aides to teach them how to talk to women. [ laughter ] it is unclear how they have gotten this far without that particular skill. the problem isn't how they talk about their policies. the problem is their policies. >> it's like richard burton. how to handle a woman, you know. but it's pretty funny. he's still got his game, right? >> he is sounding like seth myers and jimmy fallon doing that. you go through that speech, and he is trying to appeal to all these components of this coalition. women probably be the biggest component. but african american -- >> women vote more than anybody else. and we had the whole war on women and all those silly republican rape comments last time around. >> you think the ferocious right wing people out there who are pretty nasty, do you think they particularly turn off and maybe turn on women voters to go vote
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against them? they particularly don't like these guys on issues, not just abortion, but all the range of issues. they come off as very nasty. >> women tend to be for liberal voters as well. you're talk about minimum wage. you're talking about preserving health care options for people. women respond to that more than men do. they care more about climate change. so the more that ted cruz is out there -- >> okay, gene, let's talk tough demographics. south, white men in the south where. you come from, the white guys are like four or five to one republican now? they don't even have registration cards. they walk around, you know they're republicans. >> it's not democratic. the votes are not there. but the votes, look at a state like north carolina. with, you know, huge african american population, a growing latino population, a state that has gone for barack obama, you know, kay hagan is imperiled in north carolina. if you get the right voters out, you can save that state. >> also, if you get out chapel
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hill vote too. >> right. >> but you got to get about 100% turnout in chapel hill. >> you got to get every vote you can. now, they have jim messina and other people out there who know how to do this. we saw is the last time around with republicans in 2012 were completely hapless. >> let's look at the good news for the democrats. let's look at the issues that the president thinks. these are interesting. the latest are facing a challenge in landscape of course in november. but when it comes to almost every major issue, the majority of americans actually do, this is so ironic, given sort of the bad morale out there for the dems. nearly two-thirds want the minimum wage raised to $10.10. two-thirds of the country. on the affordable care act, the majority of americans do say don't want to get rid of it. they would rather fix it. this is not republican orthodoxy here. a large majority say the government has a role in reducing income inequality. that's not a republican bugle call. more republicans more americans
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blame republicans. to stay in the country to apply for citizenship as part of a comprehensive deal. and when it comes to gun laws in the country, more than half want stricter registrations. 36% said they should be kept as they are. and yet despite all that, the mood in the country might be that voters want to say no this november. and that's my question. the latest "new york times" cbs poll, only 32% say the country is headed in the right direction. and that's key. on all the separate issues, if you break them out, gene, democrat. but if you say what's the mood? how does he trump the mood with the facts? >> right. and is it easier to get people to actually come out to the polls to vote for something they're against or something that they fear rather than, you know, yeah, i think this is a good idea, that's a good idea. >> isn't most election a binary
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election, a yes or no, and he has to fight that? >> what he is doing here is trying to say this is a choice election between democrats and republicans. the republicans want it to be a referendum on people's bad feelings. but a lot of this is just based on where the elections are. a lot of these senate seats are in the south in these areas that are very hard. >> that voted against obama. >> listen to the president here, i think see doing something clever, poaching the republicans' favorite buzzword, opportunity. he better grab it, and he is doing it. let's watch. >> the choice could not be clearer. opportunity for a few opportunity for all. that's what this election is about. as democrats, we have a different idea what the future looks like. an idea rooted in our conviction that our economy grows best not from the top down, but from the middle up. that's what an opportunity agenda offers. >> so it's not opportunity versus welfare. it's opportunity for everybody compared for everybody just for the top. >> just for a few, right.
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>> you grab that word from frank luntz, whoever grabbed it before? >> words belong to everybody. he took that one back. he also took back freedom. he said we let the other decide define what freedom means. you know, i hope he continues this. these are good words. they ought to belong to everybody. >> is he in the ring or the guy with the towel over his shoulder in the corner? is he mickey or is he rocky? >> the democrats need someone to make this overarching argument, him, bill clinton and a few others, and then see if it can take root in some of these individual races. >> can he be the democrats' chief cheerleader to save the senate? >> it's going to be hard in north carolina and some southern states. >> you could need a line of cheerleaders. you need the president, you need bill clinton. >> he is. cog out fighting, which is big news for the progressives in this country. there are loot of them who need to vote. david corn, and thank you, eugene robinson. coming up, the bridgegate tapes. wait until you hear these.
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the 911 calls from the people stuck in the epic george washington bridge traffic. an ambulance couldn't get through. the fender-benders. well, tonight the picture of chaos and confusion created in the name of political revenge. also, don't look now, but the hillary clinton campaign is already revving up out there. here is the deal. hillary does the policy. bill does the politics. and wants to get in to rapid response. plus, bathroom humor for the speaker of the house. actually boy's room. hard to believe john boehner made fun of his name. its the way 13-year-old boys would enjoy it. finally, let me finish tonight with how president obama is better on fiscal responsibility than the cheap shot folks who attack him. wait physical you hear this stuff. it's factual. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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back to "hardball." the traffic is a nightmare. those are the words of one new jersey paramedics dispatcher on september 9th of last year, day one of the george washington bridge lane closure scandal that we now know as bridgegate. new police and emergency responder radio transitions were released this day, today, by the municipal clerk of the city of ft. lee. and they paint such a crippling picture of chaos, that they make bridget kelly's now famous description of traffic problems
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sound like an understatement. the burden, of course, fell on the shoulders of ft. lee's municipal employees who struggle to navigate ambulances and emergency vehicles through the gridlock. it's firsthand evidence of how the politically motivated lane closures ordered by governor christie's deputy chief of staff affected real people in need. let's listen. >> 2-11, traffic is a nightmare. the gw bridge is totally gridlocked if you can come up the road to that effect. >> 10-4. we're getting calls from irate motorists. >> you are aware the town is a total gridlock, right? >> there is a lot of these tapes. here now to talk about them and the ongoing investigations is nbc's chief investigative correspondent michael isikoff, and amanda turco. michael, you've been on this case. what is the significance of actually hearing the voices? we're going to play some more of this in a few minutes. >> well, look, chris, if there is ever a criminal case that comes out of all this, they'll be playing the tapes in the
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opening statement. >> for the jury? >> for the jury. it's how you make it real, you hear people talk about gridlock. but now, to be fair and in perspective, you know, what the defense will do at that very point is then get out the tapes, 100 other tapes from 911 tapes over the period of the last few years, and you'll see that this is not all that unusual. >> sure. but let's go to this call that grabbed me or a juror, i would think. here is a call from a frustrated woman who had already called 911 once, and was still waiting for the ambulance to arrive. let's listen to this call. >> 911. where is your emergency? >> i called. >> i know. is it for 1345 south -- >> yes, yes. >> they're on your way. you only called a couple of minutes ago. they're on their way, okay. >> you know, it's an emergency, and they are still not here. >> okay. they're on their way. >> okay, bye. >> all right, bye. >> well, there is a person
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rather pathetically trying to get the ambulance to show up that normally would have gotten there, presumably. and there you have this traffic gridlock. it doesn't get through. >> and it was causing problems for the dispatchers too. not only were they having to deal with the normal calls coming in, and there are a lot of them, but now there are also all these calls coming in about traffic from angry motorists. remember, a 91-year-old woman died while she was waiting for first responders. her family said they don't blame chris christie, but this was just causing all sorts of problems. there are accidents. there are people angry, traffic, and certainly closing down these lanes without telling anyone why made it a lot harder. >> i wonder if there is another case. let's take another one we have on the tape here, which was made available today. the traffic jam didn't just cause delays, as you suggest, but accidents begin to pile up, fender-benders. here is a 911 call from one of those accidents. >> put on your hazards. >> 911, where is your emergency?
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911, where is your emergency? >> i'm on the george washington bridge. i was just in a car accident. we were rear-ended. >> upper level or the lower level? >> upper level. >> what direction? >> we're heading into the city. >> let's go to the politics. i often try to think about what it's like to be somebody in one of these horrible cases. now you're bridget kelly, right? >> right. >> for all i know she is a political operative, a regular person who does what they like to do in the interests of the boss generally and their party. she is watching this with us maybe tonight. >> right. >> she is watching her as the bad guy. she is the one who wrote the e-mail that said "time for some traffic problems in ft. lee." >> right. >> she has had her fingerprints right on this with that e-mail. >> right. >> is she facing criminal charges here? is there a body of a crime here? if you say it come downs to the evidence that someone purposely screwed up traffic on the major artery between new jersey and
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new york, a big interstate, and did it on purpose for four straight days deliberately, is that a crime? do we know that yet? and if so, she's going got to blow the whist typical other direction. she has to blame it on somebody above her. >> i've talked to a lot of lawyers about this. it's going to be tough to make a federal case about this. but there is a new jersey -- >> that's bridget kelly we're looking at there. >> an official corruption statute that has been used multiple times against, and it's a broadly worded statute about misusing government power. and that's probably the statute that most directly applies here. the question is who is going to prosecute the case. if the u.s. attorney paul fishman doesn't bring criminal charges because he has a hard time finding a federal statute, what he would like to do is refer to it to new jersey attorney general's office. as it happens -- >> doesn't it regulate interstate commerce? >> yes. >> it can. that's what patrick foye
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originally suggested, the bridge act. people say it talks about extortion and other things that may not apply in this case. remember, we don't know all the facts. >> so you get to the state law. the attorney general is in new jersey is appointed by the governor. he reports directly to the governor. it's not an elected position like it is in most other states. right now there isn't even a -- there is only an acting attorney general. the guy who christie had nominated to be attorney general was kevin o'dowd, his chief of staff, the very guy who he appointed who was designated to find out what was going on here and told him there was no issue. they had to pull the o'dowd nomination there isn't even a nominee now to become a new jersey attorney general. >> but usually the civil servant who is waiting there, they tend to be pretty nonpartisan. >> no indication yet. we don't know how this is going to play out. >> i think the world is watching. they better be careful. last thought, amanda. these tapes, it certainly gives
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you reality here, doesn't it? >> yeah. and remember, there is more than just these tapes. people are calling in to the port authority too. one woman said her husband was 40 minutes late for his new job after being out of work for a year. and these tapes, if chris christie decides to run for higher office, i'm sure you'll hear these tapes played over and over again. and who knows how many angry motorists are going to be lined up, ready to talk about what a nightmare it was and why you shouldn't trust chris christie in a management job. >> i like the way you think. thank you so much, amanda terkel, and thank you, michael isikoff. up next, speaker of the house john boehner doesn't have the easiest last name to pronounce. it's german, i guess. and when one reporter actually called him by the wrong name, boehner actually went there to that other pronunciation. it's kind of fun. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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back to "hardball." and time for the side show. its fourth anniversary of first lady michelle obama's let's move campaign. and to celebrate, you could say president obama and vice president biden both took a victory lap, literally. ♪ >> mr. president, you ready to move? >> absolutely. lets do this thing. let's move. ♪ >> man, you're hard to keep up with. >> you did great out there. after a good workout, you got drink up. >> all right. >> otherwise you're going to be in trouble with jill and michelle. >> just let michelle know i did
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drink this. >> same time next week? >> same time next week. >> it's like a beer commercial. its second let's move video released this week. the first lady also joined comedian will ferrell to lead a focus group with children about healthy eating and exercise. and while kids do say the darnedest things, so does will ferrell. and as you'll see, the kids ended up schooling him. >> also, diet coal lab, is that a vegetable? >> no! >> what's to funny? >> you're funny. >> you're funny. if i eat a great diet. >> uh-huh. >> six days a week. >> uh-huh. >> but on sunday, i eat nothing but candy, that okay? >> no. >> what? >> it could get you a little bit sick. >> so i'm going to stop doing it. >> you did it? >> oh, yeah. >> oh, goodness. >> for about two years now. >> tell us who is your favorite comedian. >> jimmy fallon.
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>> that's mine too, because i watch. >> it's funny. >> anybody else? >> yeah, anybody else? you're lucky i didn't ask them who their favorite first lady is. >> finely, some boy's room humor made its way into a congressional briefing yesterday. john boehner is certainly used to people mispronouncing his name. but take a look at how the speaker corrected a reporter after the reporter accidentally addressed him as congressman dave camp. >> yes, sir? >> mr. camp -- i mean, sorry. mr. speaker. >> boner, boner. >> you can tell what's been on my mind. mr. speaker, i apologize. >> i'm sure he heard that in high school more than once. up next, the clinton campaign machine is revving up with hillary on the policy, bill doing politics, and a rapid response team already in high
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hi, i'm richard lui. here is what is happening. president obama warning russia against military intervention in the ukraine saying there will be costs, this after russian forces took over two airports in crimea. kerry kennedy expressing gratitude in new york after she was found not guilty of driving drugged. kennedy says she accidentally took a sleeping pill. the death of philip seymour hoffman has been ruled accidental, saying he died of an acute mix of heroin and other drugs. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." whether it's still 884 days left until election day 2016. but the clinton machine is already revving up. everyone's got their part.
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as nbc's first read puts it, hillary will talk policy and be the statesman. bill will be the campaigner and the pac, the political action committee will handle rapid response. well, this week we saw it all take shape. today the rapid response team went into action when the clinton-leaning interest group american bridge, a pac founded by david brock of media matters, took aim at rand paul for dredging up the 1990s with this new web. here is part of it, this web ad. >> trust me. i was there the first time we litigated this, and americans didn't want to hear it then. this is just sheer insanity. >> this stuff ain't going to work because it's ancient and it's old news. >> this whole thing is ridiculous. >> for senator rand paul to try to relitigate the '90s, short-term fun perhaps for republicans, but it's not a long-term winning strategy for republicans. i mean, let's all go back and dance the macarena and talk about 1998. ♪
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>> well, we'll see if that works. on tuesday, build the campaign hit the trail in kentucky for alison lundergan grimes. >> i love kentucky. you voted for me twice. you've been great to hillary. i love kentucky. >> i love kentucky. finally, on wednesday night, hillary clinton gave a rousing speech at the university of miami, hitting on themes of leadership. >> thankfully, the governor of arizona has vetoed the discriminatory legislation that was passed. recognizing that inclusive leadership is really what the 21st century is all about. >> well, clarence page is a columnist for the chicago tribune, and jay newton small covers politics for "time" magazine. in fact, i hear you'll be covering this campaign already.
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>> well, there is a lot to cover already two years out. >> let me ask you about the coordination of this whole thing. because there is still the question out there, which i'll put to you, there anybody out there in this operation, whether it's david brock who runs this rapid response team or research, all that tough guy stuff that is real politics, do any of them doubt that hillary clinton is running for president? >> well, if she is not running for president, then there is there is going to be a lot of very angry donors who is giving money to support all of these groups that are especially her shadow campaign. at some point she either has to say stop spending all this money on my behalf, or she has to say okay, i'm rung. >> and bill clinton is out there. is he acting like his wife, the former first lady, former secretary of state is running, is he acting like it? >> he is out there rebuilding all those political favors, the political machine they had when he was in office and all the chits they called in for her last presidential campaign, which then they sort of used up,
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and then she couldn't rebuild because she was secretary of state and she couldn't do politics. now they're rebuilding that political structure where they're going to have all of these politicians across america owing them favors. and what is that useful for? that's useful for running for president. >> clarence, i'm all a skeptic. you know me. and i'm questioning this. when people like lanny davis, the best friend bill clinton ever had, and david brock, the best friend hillary clinton ever had and sid bloom, the best friend either one of them ever had quoted in the paper all the time, are they working with the clintons or are they just loyal to them without any requirement of any kind of leadership? they just instinctively work for the clintons. they instinctively espouse their views, sell them on television or in print. is there an organization led by the clintons? >> everybody knows their role, everybody knows their place there is lots of networking and shared thinking so it's not necessary to have day to day orders going around. there are various ways that it can be conveyed that you're
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doing the right thing out there, or that you're helping the general cause. remember, bill clinton was the ultimate coalition builder on the left. there is nobody else around who is -- who comes as close. and so, but naturally, people know where their interests are. they gravitate toward the clintons. >> you mean, they're self-clintonized there is no phone call coming from bill or hillary, the former president and first lady. you want to go back to jay, do they ever come up and say lanny, stop it, or david, a little lighter here, a little less tough or more tough? there is no communication? they recruit themselves and they play these roles? this is what i'm trying to find out here. >> i was told -- circumstances there a clinton campaign? >> there is a shadow clinton campaign for sure. but it's so detached from the actual inner circle of the clinton world, they're so dan distanced from it. >> any time somebody takes a shot at bill clinton or hillary clinton, david brock is right on the job and ferociously so.
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rand paul from the clinton leaning pac american bridge has done more to revive memories of the clinton impeachment era than any other potential 2016 republican candidate. but he has also called for more inclusive gop. at yesterday's tea party anniversary event, rand paul even took on ted nugent without saying his name. let's listen. >> we have to reach out to more people. not just those of us here. it has to be a bigger party. it has to be a bigger movement. there are times, and i don't think it is our movement, but there are times when people are using language that shouldn't be used. and i recently criticized someone for using some of that language, and i'm not going to bring it up. but i will say that we can disagree with the president without calling him names. >> but you can go back to that president, bill clinton, according to rand paul, and talk about monica and impeachment and all the mess and the rest, and talk about it busy an example of him being a predator. i mean, it's interesting how he defines terms. we're not going to be
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derogatory. we're not going to call people names. we are going to regularly remind people of bill clinton having been impeached and why. that seems to be the new shape of the battlefield, according to rand paul. and i do think he'll be the nominee. your thoughts, clarence. >> no matter how he phrases what is going on, he is still building up the base. he is really battling ted cruz right now for dominance in the right wing base. and later, for the moderate voters, because moderate swing voters aren't impressed by all the nostalgia for the '90s or his apparent wrist slaps to ted nugent who has already apologized for his own remarks. >> yeah. >> this is a case where rand paul is still building up his own image out there with the republican base. >> well, the terrible things that ted nugent says are only there for one reason, to prove he is still alive. >> of course. >> let me ask you this. quickly to you, we only have a little time here. my question is this. this week joe biden, cover of politico. a great piece by the way. >> wonderful. >> everybody likes it. everybody is talking about it.
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he is talking about it. i've been smelling this thing for a couple of days. he is up to it. he wants to be taken seriously as a challenger to hillary. tough question. do you think you can answer this? does hillary want him to run against him as a sparring partner to get her in shape for the general, or would she prefer she had a clear field? >> i'm not inside hillary's mind, but i would imagine you don't want to be the anointed person. you don't want to run unopposed. >> a sparring fight? >> it's good for the democratic party, it's good for the republican party, it's good for everybody to have some sort of debate about the issues. >> that's what i think. i think jimmy carter might have beaten ronald reagan had he gone into the fight with ted kennedy instead of using the rose garden to stay out of that fight. i think people want to see a fight, even if it's fighting with dan rather like bush sr. did. clarence, i'm a big believer, you got a warm-up for the fight, you can't take on the general election without a really good prespring fight. but i don't know what hillary thinks. what do you know? does she want to take on joe biden on his turf and her turf which is the same turf? >> if they're going to have that
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elevated debate that hillary clinton and barack obama had in 2008, rather than going for the jugular, you remember how al gore really undercut michael dukakis, bring up willie horton in the primary. that's going or to the jugular that you want to watch out for. >> good memory there. it was al gore that brought up willie horton. not the republicans. >> even in my old age, i remember. >> that's a nugget, sir. thank you, both, have a good weekend. up next, "hardball" goes hollywood. the year's academy awards are dominated by real events, and in many cases political events. we're going to be joined by the great james lipton from "inside the actor's studio" in just a few minutes. this is "hardball," the place for politics. aflac.
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five years after the birth of the tea party, just under a quarter of americans say they're tea party supporters. let's check that "hardball" scoreboard. according to our latest nbc news/wall street journal poll, 24% consider their themselves tea party supporters. that's down from an all-time high of 30%. but it's up from went only 20% said they supported the tea party movement. of course, that poll was taken during the government shutdown. caused by the tea party. hmm. we'll be right back. [ female announcer ] hands were made for playing.
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you know where i was recently? i saw your nail polish. he put a bag over my head. are you happy now? because he is trying to kill me. >> what are you talking about? >> we're back that was a scene from the great film "american hustle", one of the nominees in contention for best picture at the academy awards coming up sunday night. well, six out of nine contenders for best picture are based on real events. american hustle, captain phillips, dallas buyers club, philome philomena, 12 years a slave. we're joined by two experts in the film business to talk about why real life events are driving so many feature films these days. the great james lipton, host of
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"inside the actor's studio" and ann hornaday. i dig this. the interesting movies seem to be, i mean, six of the nine are based on reality. two of the top contenders are definitely based on reality, including my favorite, which is "american hustle." why? what is it about? movies about today, no matter when the movie is about, it's always about today, why are we going back into history to find out something about today in these movies and not to fiction? >> motion pictures have always dealt with history. motion pictures are our history. 100 years from now, they'll be looking at the motion pictures to find out what you and i were saying tonight. that's what -- one of the things that movies do. the drama has always been, so has comedy, of course, they have always been a history of our times. and films record it forever. and so it's inevitable, i think, that there would be a great deal of reality in the films that we're make today. and there were.
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look at the 1930s, for heaven's sake. even the comedies helped us get through the '30s by helping us forget them. at the same time they're making great films about the political issues that we're making at this difficult time. film, drama, comedy, they're all about today, all about us, all about now. >> i think it's a classic, this "american hustle." but i want to talk about corruption. i guess right now if you look, you work in washington with me. you know what people think of politicians right now, nothing. they're ants. they're the lowest form. even the guys that are clean are considered zeros. and my question is, is that why "american hustle" is about abscam where over ten officials were caught taking bribes. and people see it on television, these politicians, senators, congressmen, city councilmen, mayor of camden, are all taking the money. these guys are all crooks. >> true. but i don't think it's about cynicism. i think it's about idealism. it's such a humanistic portrait of these guys. look at jeremy renner's character. he is an idealistic good guy.
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and i think james is absolutely right. cinema has always been a vector for real stories. what has changed recently is number one, the turnaround time is quicker than ever. like "zero dark thirty." i think it's a way for us to process reality in this glut of information that we're living in right now in this media-saturated world. i think these movies are actually helping us process the data. >> let's talk about the american story race. the african americans were here before anybody at this table was in the country. back in the 1600s, 1700s. my question, james, we all knew slavery was horrible. it was based on the whip. it was based on chains. it was based on murder. and yets, right up to "gone with the wind," all those movies portrayed the south as idyllic. everybody is a gentleman. nobody would ever whip anybody. and now we're getting "django." we're getting this movie. what is going on? >> what's going on is that we're facing reality at last.
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by the way, you left out "rarap that was a very important part of too face things we weren't able too face before. remember that one of the most important movies ever made in the united states of america or anywhere is "the birth of a nati nation." it's horrifying. we are still, still facing all of the realities of the racial problem that has haunted this country since slavery began here centuries ago. we're still overcoming it in so many ways. so are films. at last we're able to look at them realistically and honestly. >> why do people go to a movie like that, "12 years of slavery"? to suffer a bit? we don't go for any sort of joy.
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whereas "jiango" had a comic element. >> that was sort of sub versive in that way. in this case they go to see great art. steve mcqueen has married sound and image to create a master piece. it's to sort of process our feelings or what we think. >> one more question on the slavery. why in the 1930s were we so pro-south in the movies? why was there never a movie that was pro-north when the north were the good guys? they were fight too long end slavery. and yet the movies as you idolize the damn other size. excuse me. >> because we didn't understand it yet, because the world has come a hundred thousand, a
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million miles from that point. and today we are actually able to -- we have a black president. not that he influences the motion pictures, but he is a part of the entire zeit geist that includes the president of the united states and motion pictures made in hollywood. >> you know what i like about movies this year? there are so many great ones. i want you to respond to the reality "wolf of wall street." it's not exactly a tragedy. the guy has so much fun but he does get caught. >> and so do we. >> it's outrageous. you talk about the income gap. this guy who had so much money, buying yachts, houses on long island, unlimited wealth. is that about this equity problem we have in this country? >> i don't think that movie addressed that at all. i think it was about a very specific story. i don't think it transcended to be about that larger issue.
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i wish it had. i think "blue jasmine" was more about the current financial state than wolf of wall street. >> best acting performance of the year, james. you first. >> best acting? full disclosure, seven of the nominees have beenin side the actors studio. i am not an unbiased -- >> well, give me your biased. i like biased. >> beth actor, matthew mcconaughey. this is one case where i think my bias will correspond to the voter bias. i think he'll win in a walk. >> as an hiv victim, an unbelievable movie. your thought, he'll win? >> there's no question. >> who is going too get screwed this year? besides robert redford and oprah winfrey, they're not even if the running. >> what do you mean going to get hurt? >> somebody that would normally win this thing in a reasonable year but won't with this year
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because the talent is too gadar good. >> that's all the case. they have to eliminate all but five. i would rather answer your question this way. i think there's somebody in that best actor category who might in another we're win it and his name is bruce dern. >> i was going too say that. the guy who should have been great gatsby in stead of the other guy. >> it's so true. he's my personal favorite, though mcconaughey will win and is my favorite. >> i love bruce dern. >> he's a glorious actor. and i remember the actor studio, if i may be parochial for a moment. >> and you also have bradley cooper. >> who graduated from the actor school, who i founded. >> you are a sandwich man, the guys who walk up and down broadway with the board on the
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side of themselves, "actors studio." we'll be watching sunday night. be right back. ♪ ♪ [ girl ] my mom, she makes underwater fans that are powered by the moon. ♪ [ birds squawking ] my mom makes airplane engines that can talk. [ birds squawking ] ♪ my mom makes hospitals you can hold in your hand. ♪ my mom can print amazing things right from her computer. [ whirring ] [ train whistle blows ] my mom makes trains that are friends with trees.
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let me finish with a small overlooked fact in this debate over which party's serious about fiscal responsibility and which is playing games. the republicans hit the president again and again for not reforming social security, specifically not refining the way benefits are adjusted for
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inflation. you hear this everywhere. democrats don't want to touch entitlements, republicans, dying to do it. the fact is president obama did make a proposal in the last budget to refine this social security cost of living adjustment. he did it in his budget only to have the republicans pull the rug out from under him, refusing to back him. then adding insult to injury, jump on him for even trying. that's right. into so no sooner had the president proposed the changed and he was hit with a one-two punch. paul ryan refused to put it in his budget amendment and then he was blasted for trying to balance the budget on the back of seniors, called a shocking attack on the back of older voters, a shot across the bow this he and his party were going to savage the democrats for any reform efforts in the 2014 elections. the next time you hear
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republicans or editorial writers nailing the president for not pushing entitlement reform, the president stuck his neck out only to have the rs go shopping to a guillotine. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes. there is breaking news tonight. the president of the united states unexpectedly taking to the podium less there and three hours ago to issue a warning to russia as what appear to be a russian forces move into crimea in ukraine. >> we are deeply concerned about reports of military movements taken by the russian federation inside ukraine. the united states will stand with the international community affirming there will be costs for any russian movements in ukraine.